Posts Tagged ‘human resources’

How Flexible Is Your Company’s Management Style?

Monday, April 25th, 2016
Multi-Generational Workforce | Management Style | Ohio CPA Firm

Are you able to successfully manage a multi-generational workforce? Read on to find out why you may need to adjust your management style to achieve optimal productivity and general sustainability of your business.

Never before has the American business owner had to manage a workforce consisting of employees whose ages span five generations. And because each generation is unique, your company’s leadership team is left with the impossible task of adopting a management style to accommodate an incredibly diverse workforce.

Listen To: Mastering The Un-Manageable Magic Of Millennials

Today, an effective management team is required to be fluent in a traditional management style to accommodate the Baby Boomers while adopting an effective hands-off approach to appease the up-and-coming Millennials and a variety of other techniques to motivate and inspire the workers who fall somewhere in the generational middle ground. AND all of this has to be done effortlessly. …

You’re probably wondering if all this extra work to understand the generational differences of today’s workforce even really matters. If so, worry no longer – it does matter, a lot. Here’s why:

Marketplace Competition

The marketplace is changing and in order for your business to stay competitive, you have to be fast and agile. Who knows how to do this better than the Millennials? When I was growing up, if I wanted to make a purchase, I had to drive to the store and browse the aisles before making a purchase. Today, all the consumer has to do is pull out the smartphone, browse the products, read reviews and buy the product – and this whole transaction happens very, very quickly.

Employee Retention

A lot of businesses are having a real problem when it comes to employee retention. Companies that are not willing to adjust to their employee’s needs are going to have a difficult time retaining them for a significant period of time. Rather than try to fit a square peg into a round hole, your business might have more luck keeping that star employee around if you were to adopt a different management style. Otherwise, be prepared for the company rock star to look for employment elsewhere.

Improved Productivity

Millennials have already changed the way business is conducted in America, and we’re only getting started. One of the most extreme changes we have seen centers around the productivity of the younger generation. A lot of times we will hear that they are unwilling to get to work at 8 a.m. or that, when they do get to work, they are rarely focused on just one task. To the older generations, this can be frustrating because it flies in the face of the traditional workstyle. However, when the business can harness the unique skills and dedication of the younger generations, business owners are bound to see the productivity of these employees significantly improve.

Pat Porter talks a lot about how businesses can make since of an increasingly diverse workforce on episode 29 of unsuitable on Rea Radio. You can listen to the episode, Mastering the Un-Manageable Magic of Millennials” by clicking play on the media player below, or you can visit the episode’s webpage to listen and tap into some other great resources to help you along. And, of course, you can always email Rea & Associates for even more, specific tips and insight.

By Renee West, SHRM-CD, PHR (New Philadelphia office)

Are you looking for some more HR insight to help your business? Check out these articles for some helpful advice:

No People, No Growth

Fully Staffed & Operational: How To Master Your Employee Recruitment Strategy

Can You Afford To Lose Them?

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Phishing Scam Is A Threat To Ohio Businesses

Monday, March 28th, 2016
IRS Phishing Scam - Ohio CPA Firm

You can take a proactive stance when it comes to protecting your company from these scams by encouraging your employees to pay close attention to emails that request sensitive information, such as the names of employees, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses and/or salary information or copies of employee’s W-2 information.

The Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT) is echoing phishing scam alerts made by the IRS earlier this month in an effort to protect businesses and employees state-wide from identity theft and tax fraud.

Read Also: Payroll, HR Departments Targeted By Cyber Criminals

According to ODT, payroll and human resources offices at companies nationwide – including some in Ohio – reportedly received emailed requests that appear to be sent from a high ranking member of the company’s management team requesting confidential payroll data. While the emails appear to be legitimate, they are actually being sent by cybercriminals who are looking to fool employees into sending them detailed payroll and W-2 information. The imposters then use the information to file fraudulent tax returns.

“The scam has worked on more than 30 companies resulting in the theft of W-2 tax information for thousands of current and former employees,” ODT’s news release states. “The W-2 form contains an employee’s Social Security number, salary and other confidential data. This information enables thieves to create a realistic looking, but fraudulent tax return requesting a tax refund that is then filed with Ohio or other states, and the IRS.”

The frequency of tax fraud and identity theft continues to increase at an alarming rate. This tax season alone, the IRS reported an approximate 400 percent increase in phishing and malware incidents – a surge that was addressed back in February.

“If your CEO appears to be emailing you for a list of company employees, check it out before you respond,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Everybody has a responsibility to remain diligent about confirming the identity of people requesting personal information about employees.”

You can take a proactive stance when it comes to protecting your company from these scams by encouraging your employees to pay close attention to emails that request sensitive information, such as the names of employees, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses and/or salary information or copies of employee’s W-2 information. You can also let them know that they should never send sensitive information until a conversation takes place, either in-person or over the phone, with the member of management seeking the information. You can also check out the information provided here for general insight from ODT that could be used to help your employees identify phishing attempts and email scams.

If your Ohio business has been the victim of or experienced this or any other type of email phishing scheme, contact ODT immediately at 800.282.1780 to protect against potential tax fraud and safeguard Ohio taxpayer dollars.

Those who are interested in learning more about the increasing threat of cybercrime should check out The Columbus Cybersecurity Series. Presentations are scheduled to take place throughout the year and will focus on ways to help business owners learn more about cyber threats. The first installment is scheduled for Wednesday, April 6. The event is free but registration is required to attend. Attendees will walk away with new insight into these attacks as well as tips and advice that will help you protect your business.

By Lisa Beamer, CPA (New Philadelphia office)

Want to protect your employees from identity theft and tax fraud or need help recovering? Check out these articles:

How Can You Protect Yourself From Tax Fraud

Identity Theft Prevention: Tips To Reduce Your Risk of Becoming a Victim

How To Recover From Identity Theft & Refund Fraud

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Payroll, HR Departments Targeted By Cyber Criminals

Friday, March 4th, 2016
Identity Theft | Refund Fraud | Ohio CPA Firm

The best thing to remember when it comes to protecting your business, and yourself, from becoming a victim of fraud is that if something seems a little out of the ordinary, it’s worth checking out before you act. Read on to learn about the newest threat to your identity.

Over the last few years, the threat of refund fraud and identity theft has become a very real concern, and criminals have proven that they will go to great lengths to get the information they need to complete their scams. This recent phishing scam is no exception.

Read Also: Join The Fight Against Identity Theft & Income Tax Fraud

Criminals Phish HR, Payroll Departments

The IRS recently alerted payroll and human resources professionals of an “emerging phishing email scheme that purports to be from company executives and requests personal information on employees.” The scam has already claimed several victims.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said that this particular tactic appears to be “a new twist on an old scheme.” These cyber criminals are using the cover of tax season to trick people into sharing confidential data.

“If your CEO appears to be emailing you for a list of company employees, check it out before you respond,” said Koskinen. “Everyone has a responsibility to remain diligent about confirming the identity of people requesting personal information about employees.”

According to the IRS, a criminal investigation is already in place and several cases in which people have been tricked into sharing social security numbers and other sensitive information with criminals are being reviewed. Officials report that criminals regularly use the stolen personal information to file fraudulent tax returns for refunds.

Remind Employees To Remain Alert

To avoid becoming a victim of this particular scam, encourage your employees to pay close attention to emails that contain the following information:

  • The actual name, title and contact information of somebody in the company

o   Oftentimes, criminals will use the name of the company’s CEO to enhance the message’s legitimacy.

  • A request to provide sensitive information, including:

o   The names of employees along with their Social Security Numbers, date of birth, address, and/or salary

o   A PDF of an individual’s 2015 W-2 or an earnings summary of all the company’s W-2s.

Other Scams Abound For Businesses, Individuals

Unfortunately, businesses appear to have seen an increase of cyber attacks – especially over the last year. Last June, the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, the FBI and the United States Secret Service issued a fraud alert in response to a scam dubbed the “Business Email Compromise,” in which fraudsters compromise “legitimate business email accounts for the purpose of conducting an unauthorized wire transfer.”

Also, in response to a nearly 400 percent increase in phishing and malware incidents so far during this tax season, the IRS also renewed its wider consumer alert for email schemes. These emails are designed by scammers to trick taxpayers into believing they are being sent directly from the IRS, other tax industry professionals and/or software companies.

The best thing to remember when it comes to protecting your business, and yourself, from becoming a victim of fraud is that if something seems a little out of the ordinary, it’s worth checking it out before you act.

By Joseph Popp, JD, LLM (Dublin office)

Want to take steps to ensure that you won’t be a fraud victim this year? These articles feature information that can help.

How can you protect yourself from tax fraud

Identity Theft Prevention: Tips To Reduce Your Risk of Becoming a Victim

How To Recover From Identity Theft & Refund Fraud

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Can You Afford To Lose Them?

Friday, March 4th, 2016

Know The Costs Associated With Replacing Team Members

Costs Associated With Replacing Team Members | Rea & Associates | Ohio CPA Firm

Did you know that it takes about 12 months before your new hire will reach their maximum potential? That’s a lot of time and, as you know, time is money. Read on to discover some other costs associated with losing a member of your team.

When you lose a member of your team, regardless of their position, you can expect their departure to impact your organization’s bottom line. That’s why it’s so important to take a proactive stance with regard to staffing and minimizing your financial burden.

Start by becoming knowledgeable about the costs associated with losing, and ultimately replacing, staff. Then, develop a plan to address staffing concerns in a way that promotes a strong retention strategy and positive recruiting tactics.

Read also: Fully Staffed & Operational: How To Master Your Employee Recruitment Strategy

Read on to discover some of the more prominent monetary and emotional costs associated with losing a member of your team.

Monetary Costs

  • Productivity

o   The obvious productivity cost accrues from work missed due to the position being left vacant. A secondary productivity cost results when others have to take time out of their days to conduct interviews, onboard new hires and oversee the training process.

  • Cash Flow

o   Negative impact on the organization’s cash flow could occur, for example, when you are required to pay benefits in a lump sum rather than over a period of months as originally projected.

  • Sourcing

o   While referrals often result in higher quality hires, if you have implemented a referral program, there’s likely a cost associated with it. When looking for external sourcing assistance, prices vary depending on the company and the services provided.

  • Market value

o   Market costs relate to the “negotiation” period spent making offers to the desired candidate that are comparable to offers they may be receiving elsewhere.

  • Onboarding

o   It takes about 12 months before your new team member will reach their maximum potential. Over the course of that time, a lot of time and resources will be spent getting that person up to speed.

  • Bad hire

o   Of course, if it doesn’t work out you may need to try again. And that means ongoing costs. Therefore, while it may be tempting to rush through the recruiting process, making a good hire will cost a lot less than having to relive the bad hire experience any day.

Emotional Costs

While the emotional costs associated with the loss of a team member are hard to quantify, they should not be ignored as they greatly impact others throughout your organization. You may never fully realize the scope of one’s relationships with their co-workers until they are gone, so you will never really be able to predict the impact their departure will have throughout the organization. Here are some emotional costs to consider:

  • When a member of your team leaves, especially if they spent a lot of time with your clients, their departure may impact your organization’s external relationships.
  • The urge to say goodbye may be stronger than the urge to maintain productivity. This behavior could have a ripple effect throughout the entire organization.
  • When one person leaves, depending on their personality, the entire team dynamic may change. Getting back to normal could take some time.

Are you looking for advice to help you grow your business and improve your company culture? Check out unsuitable on Rea Radio, a unique financial services and business advisory podcast that challenges old-school business practices and the traditional business suit culture.

By Renee West, CHRM-CD, PHR (New Philadelphia office)

Are you looking for more ways to master your employee recruitment and retention strategy? Check out these articles.

No People, No Growth

Can Your Business Survive An Employee Exodus?

Are Your Employees Stakeholders In Your Business?

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No People, No Growth

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

Keep Your Prospective Employee Funnel Full With These Recruiting Best Practices

Maximizing your company’s recruitment and retention strategy is essential for securing business growth – not to mention sustaining that growth once you’ve achieved your goals. Here are seven quick tips to help you help you boost your existing human resources efforts and take your search for talent to the next level.

Read Also: Fully Staffed & Operational: How To Master Your Employee Recruitment Strategy

Get the team involved.

Traditionally, the best hires are those that have been referred to your company by an existing employee, which is why it’s so important to get your entire team involved in your recruitment strategy. This means that your 100 employees are the equivalent to 100 brand ambassadors – armed with experience and ready to help you spread the word about your company.

That being said, encouraging your existing employees to get involved isn’t always easy. Start thinking of ways you could show your appreciation for their recruiting efforts. One effective tactic is to implement an employee referral program that gives them a monetary reward for their efforts.

Make sure management engages.

Not only is engagement and transparency in management an important part of a strong retention strategy, if you want to encourage your team to actually get involved you need them to believe in your company and genuinely enjoy their jobs. If they are just there for a paycheck, they will be more likely to leave if another, better opportunity comes along and they will be less likely to “sell” the company to prospective employees.

Listen to the chatter.

What differentiates your company from the competition? Is there a reason why your employees would rather work for you than somewhere else? What does your reputation look like in the community and to the men and women you are targeting as potential employees? Your business is a representation of stories told by your employees, customers, vendors, neighbors, competitors and many others. You won’t always be able to control what is being said about you and your company, but you can listen and make an effort to be an active participant in the conversation. Not only does a strong listening strategy put you in a great position to address issues as they occur, it helps you identify potential concerns the public (particularly prospective) employees may have about your company. You can then make an effort to promptly fix any issues that may arise.

Get strategic.

Not only should you be strategic in your sourcing strategy, you should be anticipating your company’s future staffing issues. Pay attention to your turnover rate and identify which positions will likely need to be filled over the next 12 months. It’s also a very good idea to maintain positive relationships internally and externally. You should also formalize a plan to focus your efforts strategies that have proved to be fruitful in the past. For example, what is the best way to target managerial prospects? Which methods proved to be the most successful when recruiting long-term entry-level positions?

Are you looking for advice to help you grow your business and improve your company culture? Check out unsuitable on Rea Radio, a unique financial services and business advisory podcast that challenges old-school business practices and the traditional business suit culture.

By Renee West, SHRM-CD, PHR (New Philadelphia office)

Want to keep your business fully operational with high-quality employees? These articles could help:

Can Your Business Survive An Employee Exodus? 

Are Your Employees Stakeholders In Your Business?

Retirement Plan Design: One Size Does Not Fit All

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How To Phone For Help

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015
Phone Interview - Rea & Associates - Ohio CPA Firm

While you should never consider a phone interview to be a shortcut, with a little practice and preparation a brief phone screen can be an effective hiring tool.

We’ve all been there. You need to hire a new employee – fast. But you dread the process of advertising for the position and being inundated with countless inquiries and resumes. Going through the process of finding the right employee for the job can be a huge time commitment for everyone involved. And, let’s face it; if you had the time needed to properly filter candidates you wouldn’t be looking to hire a new employee in the first place. For those in need of a better way to winnow the applicant pool, help may be closer than you think.

Instead of filling your calendar with interviews, why not pick up the phone instead.

A brief phone interview is a great tool for employers. Not only does this method of communication allow you to assess their interest in the position, it helps you identify whether the candidate demonstrates specific professional qualities that you are looking for in an employee.

“A good initial phone screen can reveal a wealth of important information, including a candidates skills, experience, motivation, professionalism and salary expectations,” stated Kathryn Tyler in an article about pre-employment screening for the Society of Human Resources Management. “Phone screens can also give under-the-radar applicants – those who might be overlooked if HR were doing only in-person interviews – an opportunity to shine.”

When its time to bring in a new employee, make sure to use all the tools available to you to ensure the person you hire is truly the best fit for the job. A phone screen is just one of your many, many options. Email Rea & Associates to learn more about hiring top-notch employees and the overall impact they have on your company’s bottom line.

By Charlene Meadows, CPA (retired)

 

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